CM overruled Vedanta varsity advice: ex-minister | india | Hindustan Times
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CM overruled Vedanta varsity advice: ex-minister

Senior Orissa BJP leader Biswabhushan Harichandan has alleged that state chief minister Naveen Patnaik had overruled him in 2007 when as the law minister in the then BJD-BJP coalition government he had opposed acquisition of land for Vedanta University in Puri.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2010 00:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Senior Orissa BJP leader Biswabhushan Harichandan has alleged that state chief minister Naveen Patnaik had overruled him in 2007 when as the law minister in the then BJD-BJP coalition government he had opposed acquisition of land for Vedanta University in Puri.

“I had passed an order that under no circumstances can land be acquired for the university as Vedanta Foundation was not a public limited company,” Harichandan said here on Wednesday while reacting to the Orissa High Court’s order against land acquisition for Vedanta University.

Harichandan, who was also the leader of the BJP Legislature Party at that time, said he had also placed his party’s reservations about acquisition of 8,000 acres of land for the university before the cabinet but was overruled. “The high court order has vindicated my stand,” he said. On Tuesday, the Orissa High Court declared the land acquisition notification for the R15,000-crore Vedanta University project in Puri was illegal.

Delivering the order in response to eight public interest petitions, a division bench of the high court comprising chief justice V Gopal Gauda and justice BP Das directed the Orissa government to return the acquired lands to the respective owners.

The senior BJP leader said that regarding acquisition of land belonging to the Jagannath Temple trust came to his notice, he had asked the then temple administrator Suresh Mohapatra to give an explanation. “As his explanation was not satisfactory, I had rejected it,” Harichandan said.